Date:   2/16/2008

Corky Siegel’s brings Chamber Blues and special guest, Marcy Levy, to Thrasher

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening of fine dining and great music in beautiful Green Lake, when legendary harmonica master, Corky Siegel, returns to the historic Thrasher Opera House on February 16, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.  Most noted for his partnering in the 1960’s with guitarist, Jim Schwall, to create the popular Chicago-based blues band, Siegel-Schwall, this performance by Corky brings a collaboration of a different kind; a blend of classical and blues music referred to a Chamber Blues.  In addition, special guest and former Eric Clapton bandmate, Marcy Levy, will be joining the Chamber Blues Band.  

 

Siegel explains, “My greatest inspiration in my life has been the blues.  What an amazing opportunity in 1966 at Pepper's Show Lounge in the south side of Chicago as a young musician blues lover to be part of the house band that hosted Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Willie Dixon, Hound Dog Taylor, Little Walter, James Cotton, Jr. Wells, Buddy Guy and all the great blues masters you can think of.  What an experience to be taken under the wing of these people.

 

Then this Japanese fellow shows up in 1966 and wants my band - Siegel-Schwall - to jam with his band.  His band was the Chicago Symphony and he was Seiji Ozawa.  He explained that blues was the very spark that classical music needed.  As a young conductor, considered to be among the top 10 in the world, all eyes were upon him.  Now he is going to bring a hippy blues band on stage with him and the Chicago, Boston, and New York Philharmonic orchestras.

 

Understand, it was Seiji that was thinking out of the box and taking all the risks.  We hired the talent of William Russo to work with Siegel-Schwall and create “Three Pieces for Blues Band and Symphony Orchestra.”  Over the years as we performed together with many orchestras and recorded 2 projects for Deutsche Grammophon, Seiji insisted that I pursue this juxtaposition of blues and classical.  At first, I wasn't interested.  But that didn't matter; it pursued me!  Eventually in 1983 I just fell in love with the idea.  It took me long enough!  In 1988, Chamber Blues gave its first performances.”  Corky Siegel

 “Consistent & unanimous critical acclaim...a resounding triumph”, Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune says of the Chamber Blues.  "Simply fantastic" - Kaye Levine, PBS Producer of Great Performances

Special guest, Marcy Levy, has distinguished herself internationally as a premier pop vocalist and writer of hit rock classics.  She is an accomplished guitarist, she plays violin, blues harmonica, ukulele, and has studied drama at the nationally renown Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles.  Beginning with her very first performances opening for David Bowie in 1972, with her band “Julia”, another rock icon, Bob Seger asked her to “hit the road” and tour with him.  Marcy moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma forming a band with Seger's group.

 

After Carl Radle, bassist for Eric Clapton, heard Marcy, he insisted she be hired to record the “461 Ocean Boulevard” album and was asked to join Clapton's band.  After first finishing a nine-month commitment to work with Leon Russell, she reconnected with Clapton recording the album “There's One in Every Crowd.”  This three-day session lead to four years of international touring, recording and writing with Clapton.  The hits that were co-written by Levy and Clapton include “Innocent Times”, on which she sang lead vocal, “Rollit” and “The Core”, as well as “Hungry” which was also co-written with the world-renown keyboardist Dickie Sims.  Marcy went on to co-write the 1977 classic hit “Lay Down Sally” which won the 1996 BMI Award for over 2 million plays.

 

In 1985, Marcy co-wrote another important song for Eric Clapton called "Tangled in Love", subsequently, she was asked to rejoin his band.  The highlight during this time was performing
"Live Aid" in June of 1985 in Philadelphia.

 

After returning to Los Angeles, Marcy was introduced to Dave Stewart, of the Eurythmics, and his wife, Siobhan Fahey.  Siobhan invited Marcy to form a duo with her called Shakespear's Sister.  During that time, Marcy changed her name to Marcella Detroit, getting back to her roots of injecting soul and rhythm and blues into her music.  In 1992, Shakespear's Sister had the number one hit “Stay”, which indeed did stay at number one for eight weeks in the United Kingdom and went gold and charted at #4 in the U.S.

 

In the mid-1990's, Marcy recorded with Elton John on the multi-platinum selling CD “Duets” with a brilliant cover of the Motown Classic, “Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing”.  Her recent release on her own label is called “Dancing Madly Sideways” which received accolades from Billboard Magazine and is available on her web site www.marcelladetroit.com .

 

While performing with a group of blues all-stars at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2003, Marcy reconnected with internationally renowned blues harmonica ace Corky Siegel, remembering when she used to come see him perform sneaking into Detroit clubs as an under-age youth to hear popular blues and rock groups like his Siegel-Schwall band.  Along with her own busy schedule – Marcy is thrilled to be occasionally touring with the very legend that had influenced her as she began her own music career.


A special Valentines Day dinner package has been arranged for this event at Tuscumbia Country Club’s 680 North Restaurant.  Prior to the performance, concertgoers can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in a lodge-style setting while enjoying a delicious selection of any entrée on the menu with a ‘buy one dinner entrée, get one for ½ price’ offer.  To make reservations for the special Concert/Dinner package at 680 North Restaurant, please call the restaurant at 920-294-3381.

 

This concert is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, with additional sponsorship from Tuscumbia Country Club/ 680 North Restaurant and hospitality by Heidel House and Two Chez.  Tickets are priced at only $22 and available at Thrasher Office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank, (Green Lake); Ripon Drug, & Pick ‘N Save (Ripon); Twister (Princeton) or by calling 920-294-4279.  To order online, visit www.thrasheroperahouse.com. 

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